Archive | Breads RSS feed for this section

Dr. Joe’s Everyday Bread

20 May

bread everyday

This started out as a very popular recipe from the New York Times for no-knead bread. It uses only four ingredients: flour, water, salt and yeast (unless you modify it with other grains). My husband, Joe (the Dr. is for his PhD in English), adapted the New York Times recipe and now makes this bread regularly. It is indeed our “everyday bread” recipe.

You can vary the basic recipe by replacing a cup of the flour with whole wheat flour or raw oats or replacing half a cup of flour with oat bran, wheat bran or fine bulghur.

It’s easy to make a very tasty bread without a lot of effort, but you do need to plan ahead, because the dough needs to rise for 8 to12 hours. We mix the dough in the evening, cover it loosely and let it rise overnight, then shape and bake it in the morning.

You can use all the dough to make two to six loaves, depending on size. You can make traditional oblong loaves in loaf pans or round “boules” (three to six depending on size) on a flat baking sheet. The recipe below assumes you will be using all the dough at once.

But here’s another method, for making just one loaf at a time. After you’ve mixed up the dough, take out enough for one loaf (whatever size you like) and put the rest into a lidded container in the fridge. (The dough will keep rising for a few hours so make sure the container has plenty of headroom.) Follow the recipe below for your first loaf.

When you’re ready to make another loaf from the reserved dough, take out a lump of cold dough and shape it into an oblong loaf or ball. Put the oblong into a loaf pan or the ball on a piece of parchment paper on your counter. Cover the loaf with a slightly damp tea towel (or, for a ball, with a large inverted bowl). Let the dough warm up and rise for two or three hours before baking.

The dough will keep in the fridge for a couple of weeks.

Here’s a good method for making a single round “boule.” Take a lump of dough and form it into a sphere that will fit into a Dutch oven or similar heavy metal lidded pot. Let the dough rise on parchment paper on the counter for about an hour for just-mixed dough or for two to three hours for dough from the fridge.

When you turn the oven on to preheat, place the empty pot with its lid into the oven. Just before baking, slash the dough three or four times with a sharp knife and spray or brush it with water. Pick up the parchment paper and carefully place the dough ball inside the Dutch oven. Cover the pot and put it in the oven for 25 to 30 minutes. (Be sure to use good oven mitts because the pot will be very hot!)

A couple of helpful tips: Joe loves his “Swedish dough hook” for mixing up the dough. You can find them online. (Amazon calls it a “Danish dough hook,”and the King Arthur flour folks call it a “dough whisk.”) And a shower cap is great for covering the bowl containing your rising dough because it will expand if the dough rises byond the top of the bowl.

Ingredients:

7 cups flour, preferably bread flour
2 tsp. salt
½ tsp. granulated or instant yeast
3 cups water (room temperature)
1 additional cup flour

Directions:

Mix the 7 cups of flour, the salt and the yeast in a large, rigid bowl. Add the water and stir with the dough hook or a large wooden spoon, being careful to incorporate all of the flour mixture; don’t worry if the dough is a little lumpy.

Cover the bowl and leave it at room temperature overnight, or at least six hours (up to 18 hours).

After the dough has risen (usually the next morning), tip the dough onto a large board or a counter covered with flour; use a rigid spatula to scrape the dough from the sides of the bowl.

Knead for about a minute, working in enough additional flour so the dough becomes elastic and is no longer sticky.

Use a large knife to cut the dough into the number of loaves you want. Line your loaf pans or flat baking sheets with parchment paper.

Shape the dough into oblong loaves or round boules. Use a sharp knife to cut a few slash marks into the top of each.

Let the dough rest for an hour, covered loosely with a clean tea towel or a large bowl.

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.

Bake large loaves for 25 to 30 minutes; small loaves will take a little less time. The bread should be golden-brown on top and should sound hollow when you tap it on the bottom.

Cool on a wire rack.

 

 

Hazelnut Biscuits

13 Sep

hazelnut-biscuitsIn a fit of I-don’t-know’what I bought a package of hazelnut meal (actually labeled Natural Ground Filberts) last Passover, and never used them. So when I saw this recipe in the New York Times I was thrilled. It was part of a fruit cobbler recipe (this was the topping) – and I’m sure that would be yummy, but I tried them without the fruit, as biscuits for breakfast, spread with butter and marmalade and served with scrambled eggs. They were deelish! I used milk instead of cream with no ill effect. And the recipe would probably work just as well (though taste a little different) with almond meal instead of hazelnut.

Ingredients:

½ cup hazelnut meal
1½ cups all-purpose flour
½ cup granulated sugar
1 Tbs. baking powder
½ tsp. kosher salt
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1/3 cup cold heavy cream, plus more for brushing biscuit tops
¼ cup cold whole milk

Directions:

In a small skillet, cook the hazelnut meal over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until golden brown and fragrant, about 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate and let cool completely.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Combine cooled hazelnut meal, flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a large bowl and whisk to combine.

Cut butter into flour mixture with a pastry blender or two knives (or your fingers) until the mixture resembles coarse meal with a few pea-sized pieces. If the butter starts to get warm, put the bowl in the fridge for a few minutes.

In a small bowl, combine the cream and milk and quickly stir it into the flour mixture with a fork. Do not overwork the dough.

Drop the dough in 8 to 10 mounds on a baking sheet. Brush the tops with cream and sprinkle with a little sugar.

Bake about 15 minutes, until lightly browned.

(If using to top cobbler, use a favorite filling or make one from 2 lb. peaches, 2 cups blueberries, 2 to 4 Tbs. sugar, ½ tsp. vanilla. 1 Tbs. cornstarch and a pinch of salt. Toss to combine and place in baking dish.)

 

Cinnamon Apple Bread

13 Jan

apple breadI can’t give credit where it’s due because I can’t remember the publication from which I clipped this lovely recipe. I made it for a potluck a few months ago and it went over really well. In looking for a photo, I noticed I posted a similar recipe, Apple Dapple Cake, last August. This one is less sweet and doesn’t include nuts.

Ingredients:

⅓ cup brown sugar (not packed)
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
⅔ cup white sugar
½ cup butter, softened
2 eggs
1½ tsp. vanilla extract
1½ cups flour
1¾ tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. salt
½ cup milk
1 large apple, peeled, cored and chopped

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Grease and flour a 9 x 5 inch loaf pan.

Mix brown sugar and cinnamon together in a bowl and set aside. Beat white sugar and butter together in a bowl using an electric mixer until smooth and creamy. Beat in eggs, one at a time, until incorporated. Add vanilla and mix in.

Combine the flour, baking powder and salt in another bowl and stir into the butter mixture. Add milk and mix until smooth.

Pour half the mixture into the prepared loaf pan. Add half the apples and half the brown sugar/cinnamon mixture. Then add the rest of the batter, the rest of the apples and the rest of the brown sugar/cinnamon. Lightly pat the apples into the batter and swirl the brown sugar mixture through the apples with a finger or spoon.

Bake about 45 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Cool in pan for 10 minutes, then remove and cool on a wire rack. Cool completely before slicing.

Sour Cream Banana Bread

2 Jul Banana Bread

Banana BreadI like bananas to be ripe, which means yellow with brown sugar spots on them. In warm-weather months like this, bananas go from green to ripe in just a few days, and then they’ve only got another few days to go until they’re over-ripe and too mushy to enjoy.  But there’s no need to fret when that happens — it’s a perfect excuse to make banana bread!

For a long time we relied on The Joy of Cooking’s Quick Banana Bread recipe. It’s a good recipe so I don’t want to denigrate it. But one day I had some sour cream that needed to be used, as well as over-ripe bananas, so I searched the Web for another recipe. This recipe is adapted from one I found on food.com. It’s very moist and rich-tasting but not too sweet, and it’s excellent with cream cheese.

Ingredients:

½ cup butter or margarine
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1½ cups flour
1 tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. cinnamon
1 cup mashed bananas (2-3 bananas)
½ cup chopped walnuts or pecans
½ cup sour cream

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Grease a large loaf pan. (If you cut parchment paper to shape and put it on the bottom, you can be sure it won’t stick.)

Cream the butter or margarine and sugar. Add the eggs and vanilla and mix well. Mix the dry ingredients and add to the egg mixture alternately with the bananas. Stir in the sour cream and the nuts and mix well. Bake for about an hour, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Remove from the pan and cool on a wire rack. Cool completely before slicing.

Makes about 12 slices

Cranberry Nut Bread

14 Mar

ImageI’ve been getting requests for Passover recipes. This isn’t one. The problem is I like to include photos with my recipes, and I won’t be making any Passover recipes for another 10 days when my kitchen is ready for the holiday! I’ll look for year-round recipes that also work for Passover to post soon, and once my prep is complete, I’ll post some of my fave Passover dishes.

Meanwhile, look in your freezer — maybe, like I did, you have a package of fresh cranberries stashed there. This would be a great way to use them up before the holiday!

This recipe came from one of our neighbors – I can’t remember which one –  in the graduate student apartments at Temple University where we lived from 1972 to 1976. I’ve tried other cranberry nut breads, but none has been as good as this one! Try it for breakfast with cream cheese.

Ingredients:

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1½ tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
2 cups fresh cranberries, cut in half or coarsely chopped (a food processor is a good idea!)
¼ cup vegetable shortening
¾ cup orange juice
1 Tbs. grated orange zest
1 egg, well beaten
½ cup chopped nuts

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Sift together the dry ingredients. Cut in the shortening until the mixture forms coarse crumbs. Combine the orange juice, orange zest and egg. Make a well in the flour mixture and pour the orange juice mixture in. Stir lightly to combine. Stir in the cranberries and nuts. Spoon into a greased loaf pan and pull the batter away from the center to the four corners (this will keep it from getting too high in the center). Bake at 350 degrees for about an hour, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.